Posted in: Daily Life, Goals, Motivations, Running

Brown Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, those are all over.  It’s time for #GivingTuesday. So what is Giving Tuesday all about? Getting together to celebrate generosity by giving! We give all our money to the stores so why not give to help out a great cause.

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Last year we raised $2500 for the children of St. Jude. This year our fundraising goal wasn’t quite as high but we would still like to give back. Can you help us raise a little bit more money?

I started crying when I picked up my bib! I am so ready to rock my first #marathon! #sjmmw #stjudeheroes

Last year this was supposed to be my first marathon but it was canceled. It was hard but the only thing that made it OK for me was knowing we raised the money for the kids. This year I’m running it again. PLUS this is going to be Willie’s first marathon this Saturday.

We will be heroes again but I would like to raise just a little bit more money. Because of the majority of St. Jude funding comes from people like you, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation. That means your donation, no matter what the size, will help!

How your donation helps:

Thanks to donors like you, no family ever pays St. Jude for anything, including lodging, food and travel.
St. Jude will continue to improve treatment of childhood cancer and other deadly diseases through it’s groundbreaking research.
For every child treated at St. Jude, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries.

How will you celebrate #GivingTuesday?

Posted in: Fooducation, Motivations, Running, Working Out

There’s nothing wrong with Thanksgiving eating but there is a problem with leftovers.  It’s especially hard to be one of those people who HATES to throw food away.  Continuing the Thanksgiving eating for many days after Thanksgiving can be a problem.

Thanksgiving throw out

I woke up yesterday and saw a lot of food in the trash including a full pecan pie, angel food cake and some macaroni and cheese. Willie was serious about it. It’s time to move on.

Last long run before Marathon Saturday! I'm excited to run the race that crushed my marathon dream last year. Most importantly I'm excited for @williebeatfat to run his first marathon. I'm so proud of him. Neither one of us wanted to get out to run this m
It’s marathon week! It’s not my first marathon but it was supposed to be my first marathon this year so I’m excited to run it. I’m MOST EXCITED because it’s Willie’s FIRST marathon. He’s handled his training like a champ and I really feel like he’s ready to rock it. I’m a proud wife!

It's Monday! I went to Group Power this AM. How are you getting active today? Leave a comment! #fitfluential #fitfam #tiuteam #sweatpink #workout #gymtime

It’s Monday so I wanted to motivate you to keep going, but I also want to share some knowledge with you. Cardio is great! I love it, but to keep your cardio up you need to do some other stuff too. It’s the beginning of December so I want you all to try something new. It will only take a few minutes but this will help you out A LOT!

And I know this says it’s for runners, but these are exercises that will help everyone out!

Will you give these workouts a try?

Posted in: Daily Life, Foodie

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving yesterday. I was hosting this year which took up a lot of time.  It was hard to keep up with everything and keep blogging.  I’ll give you the short version of the holiday.  On Wednesday night, we had a little get together with some friends.  I didn’t get a chance to take pictures because I was running around like a crazy person, but I did get one with my good friend Julie.

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You might remember Julie from her story.  Check it out if you haven’t!  She just keeps getting better!

Pictures from yesterday's #turkeytrot. #runchat #running #fitfluential #teamchocolatemilk

On Thanksgiving morning we all went out to run the Turkey Trot!  It was a good time seeing all my friends and pre burning those Thanksgiving calories.  Willie and I both ran the 10K. I ran the 10K in 58:56 which was not my PR but pretty close to it.  I was severely dehydrated.  I couldn’t function.  it’s kind of funny.

Thanksgiving 2014

After that, I had to go home and finish cooking the food.  We had a baked turkey, squash casserole, honey baked ham, sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, turnip greens, green bean casserole, potato salad, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and various pies.  No, we didn’t eat all of that.  I just like to have options.

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I also made these trifles.

Everything was so good!  Hosting Thanksgiving is exhausting but totally worth it.  I’m so thankful for everything in my life.  Great husband, family and friends make my life complete along with some awesome blog readers!  I hope you had a great holiday.

Posted in: Foodie, Fooducation

I’m so excited.  I love the holidays because this is the one of two times the family gets together and we have a good time. Of course there is always reason to give thanks and to eat some good food.  It’s always hard during the holidays to slow the eating down when you’re being tempted so much, right?

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I know I’ve already posted the tips on how to stay in control over the holidays but I want to stress this to you again.  Thanksgiving is one day so you should enjoy it.  But remember it’s one day!

I normally get up and do some type of exercise on Thanksgiving morning.  Before I was comfortable running races, I still got up to run 3 miles around the hood or just went for a long walk.  Now I run the Turkey Trot. There’s just something about getting active that makes me feel better about enjoying Thanksgiving.  If you can, get up a little earlier and do a workout; get the blood pumping.

My biggest tip: stay in control.  There is going to be a lot of amazing delicious unavoidable food at the table, so enjoy it.  Enjoy it but don’t over indulge or pig out.  Have a piece of pie, don’t eat the whole pie.  Or split the pie with someone else.

Eat like you normally would on the day so you’re not starving when it comes to eating the meal.  When you do that, you’re taking control away from yourself because you’re going to be more inclined to pig out.   Most importantly, drink water before, during and after you eat.  It will help you feel full and keeps you hydrated!  Know the difference between hungry and thirsty!

Also try to make some low calorie desserts for yourself to enjoy instead of eating all the sugary goodness.  I’ll hopefully be posting some of that stuff for you tomorrow so you still have time to enjoy!

I sure am looking forward to spiral ham AND cornbread dressing!  I’m pretty sure Willie is excited for the pecan pie! Willie and I are hosting Thanksgiving again this year and we are so excited!  Good things will be happening in the Gilly kitchen!

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Posted in: Race Recap, Running

Good morning.  It’s early but I’m still excited from yesterday.  I ran the Ultracentric Gold Rush 6 HR Race.  The race is actually a 72/48/24/12/6 HR running event.  Yes, there are people who had been out there since Thursday morning.  I think that’s crazy.  The whole thing is set up where they serve you real food throughout the day to keep you fueled.  Ultrarunning is very different from road racing.  Let me back up, for people who don’t know what an ultra marathon is: it’s anything about 26.2 miles.  The atmosphere is more laid back.  It’s really all about having the endurance to push on and finish instead of time.  There are tons who people who do it seriously and do care about time, but it’s really about staying strong until the finish.

I'm a glutton for punishment. I said I wouldn't do any more ultra marathons but I'm going to do it today. Running in the rain will be fun! Look at the fab swag! #fitfluential #sweatpink #teamchocolatemilk

The race swag was pretty amazing. Instead of shirt we received an embroidered fleece jacket and beanie, a drawstring bag, an event cup and a water bottle. There were also some coupons that I didn’t have enough time to look at so I can’t really tell you what that’s all about. I was really excited to see the great quality of this stuff. It was amazing.

The ultracentric experience

The event started at 9am so I was able to sleep in a little bit. Oh, the event was held in Grapevine which is a great excuse to come visit family. The weather was pretty crappy. It was supposed to be the worst day for weather with tornado warnings and lots of rain the forecast. I wasn’t really excited about that part. I had to pull out the rain gear which I knew was going to bug me. I was also going to try out some salt tablets and new hydration pack. I totally went into this with a training run mentality and I wanted to have fun.

The ultracentric experience

We had a prerace meeting to discuss the course and we were off. It was a 2 mile loop of the course so you were never really alone and you always knew where you were going. The rain was causing me problems because it was a heavy midst that was making it hard for me to see with my glasses. It really slowed me down because I just couldn’t see. I was trying to be cautious not to fall down because parts of the trail were tricky.

Kt tape

Early in my foot was starting to bother me but not like last week. I KT Taped it up which was a lot better. My dad told me my shoes are too loose so that what the problem is, when I purchased the shoes they fit. That’s all I got to say. I had to stop and re-lace my shoes a couple of times to help ease the pain. It was nowhere near the pain level of last week so I guess I was winning.

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It was a good time. The people were friendly! The spectators and volunteers helped out a lot. It was just a really laid back and fun situation. I ticked off the miles and just kept going. I had originally planned to do 32 miles but with the weather problems and my foot, I chose to have fun. I would stop and have random dance parties with some people who were struggling or just wanted to have fun. I tell you, I like myself better when I’m out on the race course. I have fun and I’m happy and I’m not so serious. It’s great!

The ultracentric experience

And then a funny thing happened when I finished. I was sad that it was over. At the end of the 6 hours, you just stop. You don’t get credit for a partial lap so when it was getting close to 6 hours you had to decide if you could make it through another lap or if you should just stop. In the end, I finished with 28 miles because I chose to stop. There were only 3 people in my age group so I knew I would place but I never expected what happen. I came in second in my age group, but I wasn’t eligible for an age group award because I placed 3rd place woman overall. I couldn’t believe it. I actually beat other people. I NEVER thought I would win an age group award or even an overall award. It was amazing. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy!

The ultracentric experience

And you know I enjoyed my chocolate milk when I was done. I’ve got two more marathons this year. I need to stay strong.

I know I told you guys I would never run another ultramarathon but I really enjoyed this one so there might be a future for me. I’m not really sure but this has left a very positive imprint in my mind. It was great! Thank you to everyone who sent love my way through likes and congrats! It really means the world to me.

Posted in: Daily Life, Running

Go hug a runner because it’s time to Go HARD.  It’s Globally Organized Hug A Runner Day!  Last year, I missed out but this year I got in lots of hugs!

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I told you running makes me want to hug people! These are some of my favorite people but not all. So don’t get offended if you’re picture isn’t here.

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I’ve been icing my foot. Sunday when I ran the half marathon in the rain, I think my shoes were too tight or too lose and were sliding up and down my foot. It hurt like the dickens so I took a day off. I’ve been icing it ever since. Good news is it doesn’t hurt so bad anymore.

Today's run. I'm ready for Ultracentric this weekend. Let's pray for good weather. #fitfluential #nikeplus #runhappy #runchat

I’m back on the Nike Sportwatch because my Timex battery is going down down down. It doesn’t even last an entire marathon anymore. It’s sad because I like the watch, but sometimes you just have to throw in the towel and call it done. Yesterday I went for a run and it was bothering me again. But I re-laced my shoes like I read on the internet and the pain went away. I felt nothing. It was a good run until I tripped over a rock. I didn’t go down but I almost did. I looked around to see if someone saw it and of course someone was out walking their dog.

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I iced my ankle last night but this morning it felt a little stiff. I had to teach Group Ride at 5AM this morning and I wanted to be FULL ON ANGIE so I slapped on an ankle brace and it seemed to work. I hope it doesn’t hold me down because I have some big events coming up.

Are you going to hug a runner today?

Posted in: Foodie, Fooducation, Recipes

Everyone is very focused on the holidays and looking forward to Thanksgiving, right? Fall is my favorite season because of all the great foods that come back into season.  I wanted to share with you some of my favorites of the seasons.  Spoiler alert:  you will not see pumpkin on this list.  Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin but I feel like most people go ga-ga over pumpkin and now we’re in pumpkin overload.  I blame it on the pumpkin spice latte.

Root vegetables:
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Before weight loss I never met a potato I didn’t like. I loved potatoes and I still do. I just don’t eat them as often as I once did so I began to explore the world of root veggies. I enjoy them all! The best thing about root veggies is they are a set it and forget it type of thing. Roasting root veggies is the way to go.

My favorite root veggies: carrots, turnips (when roasted taste just like potatoes), potatoes, parsnips, radishes. And there are many many squashes that are in season.  Willie made the best acorn squash a couple of weeks ago when I was out of town.

And my favorite of them all: sweet potatoes

We have sweet potatoes every week. These potatoes are a crowd pleaser in the house. It never occurred to me that I haven’t really told you what I do the sweet potatoes every week, I just tell you that I have them. I’m very simple.

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Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel the sweet potatoes. Place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with black pepper, a touch of cayenne pepper, ginger, and cinnamon. I put 1/2 cup of low sodium chicken broth in the bottom of the dish with a tsp of vanilla extract (if I remember) and cover with foil. I bake the potatoes for 45-60 min (or until soft). I let them sit still covered out of the oven when done and eventually I just mash them up. I don’t put any dairy in it so they can stay in the fridge for longer. It’s one of our favorite things to eat!

Apples:

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I LOVE apples!  Apples are always a snack in the house, but now that apples are in season I use them in different things. I’ve just been cooking them up and storing them in the fridge for quick bites.  I’ve also been adding them into our overnight oats instead of strawberries (which aren’t in season right now).  That’s what is so great about the changing seasons, you can make an oldie new again by adding in season fruits and veggies. Apples pair great with pork and work great in salads. They just don’t have to be a snack but apples can be part of the dish too!

There are so many versions of apples it’s hard to keep up. I prefer my apples sweet so I really enjoy Gala, Cortland, Janagold and Cameo apples.  Those also tend to be the cheaper apples.  But there are so many different varieties, I’m just a little bit on the cheap side because I buy a LOT of apples each week.  If I’m paying $2/pound for the fancy Pink Lady or Honey Crisp, I would be spending my entire grocery budget.  From time to time, I do buy those though.  Willie prefers the Granny Smith apples which are WAY too tart for me.  To each his own.

If you want to know about the sweetness and tartness of apples check out this chart!  It’s my go-to when I need help deciding on what apples to buy. And then you need to know what apples to bake and cook with, right? So check out this site to get all that great info about which apples are best for each dish!

What kind of apples do you like: sweet or tart?

Posted in: Running, The Quest

If you’ve been reading the blog, you may have noticed between the lines that I’ve been in search of something.  The past 6 years I’ve been trying to move in a positive direction after being so not positive for a long period of life.  Before I played the victim, I complained all the time and nothing could ever make me happy.  It wasn’t a great situation which didn’t make me a fun person to be around.  A lot of my personal relationships suffered greatly and I knew I had to make a change.  Today I feel like I’ve taken a lot of steps to move in a positive direction and I am a changed person.

That was partly the reason why I had my moment and everything just clicked.  It’s just a moment in time when everything aligns and it all works.

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I’ve been searching for my happiness.  I’ve carried a lot of stress on my shoulders because I always felt like I’m the one who had to hold everything together.  My daily life has always put some added stress on me from a young kid.  When that happens to you when you’re younger, it’s hard to not carry it over into adulthood.  I don’t know the art of small talk, I’m mostly always serious and I don’t like to waste time.  I know why I’m like this, but I don’t want that to define me.  When I was struggling the most, The Happiness of Pursuit fell into my lap by way of a blog contest. I won a free copy of this book that ended up changing my life.

The day to day leaves me longing for more.  It’s a feeling I can’t really explain.  It’s more than just not being happy; it’s about not being fulfilled or useful. I always thought I was going to do something to change the world where I was going to leave my mark, but that never came to fruition.  And then this weight loss thing happened and people started taking notice for one reason or another and I felt like I had to power to help change and inspire. I don’t necessarily want to be the poster child for weight loss because that’s a very hard job.  But I do want to spread the word that what seems to be impossible can be possible.  I want to show people that with hard work anything can be achieved even though there are forces working against you.  I want to inspire and motivate people to live the best versions of themselves because it’s all attainable.  Weight loss has helped me become the person I always thought I was meant to be, but I don’t want my weight to define me whether I am 338 or 150 pounds. I would rather be that girl who inspires and motivates you to go after your dream and take the risk!

That being said, it’s time for me to take a risk and jump out of my comfort zone.  The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau is about “finding the quest that will bring purpose to your life” and it’s time for me to go on my own quest.

I briefly mentioned my quest a couple of weeks back, but I know I have to really write it down and share to make it real and trackable.  Here goes nothing:

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My Quest: To run a marathon in all 50 states in the USA so I can become an official member of the 50 states Marathon Club.

Why did I decide on this quest:

Running marathons is my sick addiction.  It’s sick because I put myself through the torture of building myself up, breaking myself down and then putting myself back together over a 26.2 mile journey.  It’s a mental game.  Every time I run a marathon, I’ve said I’m never going to do it again during the race.  I cross the finish line, celebrate the fact I’m finish and look back over the race…and then sign up for another one.

Running is not everyone’s thing.  I get it.  I don’t want it to be everyone’s thing because I love it so much.  I don’t want people running just for the sake of it and REALLY hating or disliking it.  (And I don’t mean the runner’s dislike of running because it’s a sick version of love.  I promise you, it’s not normal.) The thing I want my blog readers to do is replace the running with something else they love or want or need to do.  My stories and lessons come by way of running, but that could be easily replaced with something else.  It’s about the message not the activity and I really hope all of you will be able to see past it.

Running makes me happy.  It provides me an escape.  I like myself more when I’m in a running environment.  I’m happy. I’m talkative.  I’m not serious.  I smile.  I hug.  I laugh.  I cry.  I’m friendly. All those things are not who I am in the day to day.  Those are things I want to be in the day to day.  This is another reason for my quest.  This quest will push me out of my comfort zone because I will be in an environment where I won’t know people.  I will be forced to break down the walls and talk to people.  I’m hoping to learn some social skills along the way and just stop being so freaking shy and reserved.

I also want to see this great country that we live in.  Before I was super passionate about taking photos.  I really loved to do it but I was very sedentary and didn’t do anything.  I became bored with photography because I was looking at the same things every day.  I still like taking pictures but this will give me the opportunity to go around the country to see different things and photograph our great country.  Many people want to travel overseas to see what the world has to offer and I’m one of those people.  BUT I know I’m neglecting the place I live now and I should experience the United States of America too!

My quest time limit: 1,139 days (or 3 years and 44 days)

States I already have on my list: Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Virginia, Arkansas

I need 10 states to officially join the 50 States Marathon Club and I will have that completed by the end of 2015.  Next year will be a mild year because I am doing my half Ironman and I will have to spend the time training for that which will cut out some of my marathon time.

The rules of my quest:

My quest has to be documented on the blog.  It’s important for me to share the steps of my journey.  The good, the bad and the ugly will be here to read.  I also need to bring something back from each state.  I’m really bad about buying souvenirs or anything cool on my travels.  This could be anything from a really great picture to a post card.  I just want something from each state.

And I have to finish the marathons.  I don’t really care what the time for each marathon is because I don’t really care about that in normal life, but each marathon needs to be completed.  I’m hoping I will get a PR along the way too!

Most importantly, I need to get out and meet some people and just talk.

And there are some places that I can’t go without Willie.  The states of Washington, Oregon, California, Maine, Alaska and Hawaii! I’m pretty sure he’s going to want to venture to some other places too and maybe he’ll run a few of those marathons with me!

Willie’s rule: This can not interfere with my goal to finish a half Ironman competition in 2015.

Obstacles to completing my quest:

The cost of travel but I’ll have plenty of frequent flying miles and hotel points.  That’s always an upside!  That also means I’m going to have to work a lot harder to make more moolah! I’m not afraid of hard work though.

Most marathons happen at the same time of the year. I will be running a lot of back to back to back marathons!  I’m going to have to make sure I recover with lowfat Chocolate Milk to keep me moving.  This is the biggest physical thing I will undertake so I’m going to have to stay strong and healthy!  Healthy eating will take me a long way!

But in the end it will be all worth it.

Good planning and budgeting will be just as important and running the marathons to make my quest a success!  It’s more than just running though.  It’s about opening myself up, taking some risks and just being happy.  It’s completely personal to my set of goals, but this is what I need and want to do. Bascially, I want my life to be a never ending episode of

This is my quest.  I hope you will enjoy the journey with me.  It’s important for me to document and lay out my plans of the quest to make it “real” and to hold me accountable.  And I hope to inspire and motivate you to really find your happiness too!

If you were to go on your quest, what would you do?  

Posted in: Daily Life

Today I ran a half marathon.  This was one that wasn’t on the schedule.  It was kind of last minute and it was a race I had never done before.  Last week I ran a bridge so it’s not that bad of an idea.  The race was only a hour and some change away so it wasn’t a big deal to run it.

LaPorte Bay The Bay Half Marathon
The day started out with some run group fun! I love all of these people. They really make me smile. And they get that I don’t do well with small talk.

LaPorte Bay The Bay Half Marathon
I wore my new compression socks that kind of matched my Team Chocolate Milk. I kind of made it match because I like fun socks.

I didn’t have any goals or expectations for this race. I’ve been running pretty good lately so I wasn’t going to push my luck. Plus the weather forecast called for strong rainstorms the entire week so I didn’t want to get too excited about it. Today was all about the finish. I just wanted to run a race with my best friend Jes. With is a loose term meaning we will run the same race but not together.

LaPorte By The Bay Half Marathin
The race was over a bridge. This bridge wasn’t as bad as the bridge last week but it was pretty tough. The view was amazing.

LaPorte By The Bay Half Marathin
But it smelled like a hot mess for a large portion of the race. I couldn’t get over it. But like I said the view was nice. The course was an out and back so we had the honor of running the bridge twice. On the way back, it started to rain. Rain + eyeglasses = bad combination. It was hard for me to see at some points.

One guy took my hand and was trying to pull me up the bridge when I was on a walk break. I didn’t really appreciate that because I was on a walk break. I appreciate the encouragement though, so I won’t get too mad about it.

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The only goal I had was to try to stay at marathon pace. I finished the half marathon in 2:14:34 (avg pace 10:16). That’s two minutes faster than last week’s bridge run so I’ll take it. The half marathon might be my distance, but I’m really working on improving my marathon. Hopefully, next week’s run will help me do good in my next marathon. That’s why I was happy to drink my lowfat chocolate milk at the end. It’s got the right ratio of carbs and protein to help with recovery. I need to get back on my feet as soon as possible because I’m running a ultra marathon on Saturday!

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The medal was pretty cool too.

LaPorte By The Bay Half Marathin

And I finally got a chance to meet Amanda. We always miss each other at the races but this time we finally got to meet.

Posted in: Daily Life, Foodie, Fooducation

Happy Saturday night.  Most people are out doing interesting things and I’m blogging.  But I wanted to let you know that I’m not dead.  I’m still here.  I’m just trying to figure everything out.  I may or may not be struggling with documenting everything on social media.  I’ll stop complaining about it because I signed up for it.  So what’s been going on with me?

#running 7 miles today 13 tomorrow. Tried to keep it at marathon pace for this run! #teamchocolatemilk #fitfluential #ffcheckin #sweatpink
Of course I’ve been running. I have a few big things planned for the rest of the year so I’m trying to stay in top form before a take a break in December. I could be running my very last half marathon of the year tomorrow which means we needed to move meal prep to Saturday so we wouldn’t be rushing to do it tomorrow.

Meal prep is underway! For the most part everything is done! I'll fill you in on the blog soon! #fitfluential #mealprep #healthyeats
Meal prep went by pretty easy today which is the way I like it. It’s been really cold lately so I’ve been eating a lot of soups.  Willie isn’t a huge soup fan but I want to take advantage of the cool weather.  We will make the best of it and maybe have some hot chocolate in front of a fire.  Well not really because we don’t know how to use the fireplace.

What’s on the menu for this week?

Breakfast: Egg white muffins and overnight oats (SHOCKER!)
Lunch: Turkey sausage with brown rice “stuffing” and peas.
Dinner: Chili with turnip greens and bread.
Snacks: greek yogurt, fruit (apples), Luna bars, grilled chicken, sweet potatoes…etc

Don’t forget Willie will be posting the recipes for some of the stuff later on this week on his blog. I’ll keep you posted when the recipes hit the web and I’ll update this post accordingly with the links.

Pro compression socks

In other news, I finally got my Pro Compression socks.  I ordered them two weeks ago but I just got them today.  I don’t know what the hold up was but it took forever.  I’m just glad they came in now so I could run in my new socks tomorrow.  It’s supposed to be 100% chance of rain with falling temps.  My goal is to be finished with the race before the temp starts to fall.  You think I could do that?

What’s your favorite thing to eat when the weather turns cold?